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Investigating the vasorelaxant and antioxidant effects of diosgenin on ovariectomied rats


Researchers from Brazil looked at the cardiovascular effect of diosgenin, a phytoestrogen and a constituent of yam (Dioscorea) species, on ovariectomized rats. The researchers published their findings in the Journal of Medicinal Food.

  • In the study, the researchers examined both the vasorelaxant and antioxidant mechanisms of diosgenin in isolated rat aortic rings.
  • They randomly subjected female rats to sham operation or ovariectomy at eight weeks of age.
  • Ovariectomy was performed for menopause induction after anesthesia.
  • The researchers also treated the rats with diosgenin for 28 days.
  • Diosgenin produced a concentration-dependent relaxation in aortic rings precontracted with phenylephrine.
  • In the endothelium-intact rings, the vasorelaxant effect of diosgenin was reduced.
  • The researchers also found that diosgenin inhibited the contractions induced by cumulative addition of phenylephrine.
  • While the 28-day glutathione, superoxide dismutase, and nitric oxide treatment with diosgenin did not cause any changes in the myeloperoxidase parameter, it significantly increased the levels of glutathione, superoxide dismutase, and nitric oxide, as well as decreased the concentration of malondialdehyde related to lipid peroxidation.

Based on these results, the researchers concluded that diosgenin inducedĀ relaxation in aortic rings through an endothelium-dependent pathway, which involves the endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF), the opening of potassium channels and antioxidant action.

Journal Reference:

Morais ICPdS, Moura IJL, Sabino CKB, Nicolau LAD, Souza FdM, da Silva-Filho JC, de Cassia Meneses Oliveira R, Medeiros JVR, de Lima SG, de Oliveira AP. CARDIOVASCULAR EFFECT OF DIOSGENIN IN OVARIECTOMIZED RATS. Journal of Medicinal Food. 15 March 2019; 22(3): 248-256. DOI: 10.1089/jmf.2018.0019



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